Thursday, 16 October 2014

Leaving Leon - An excerpt from chapter 37 of Tommy Turns Cars by Josephine Archer -

Bill looked at Jim, crumpling under his Leon legacy. His face was red from the sun but it looked like his purple nose was casting its fruity shadow over his sundried face, until the black seeds of his eyes. He looked like he'd been in the mortuary two hours ago and the prunes they'd placed over his eyes had left their wrinkling residue.

"This town is a shit heap" said Jim as they stomped out through busy streets, then quiet flyovers, then busy streets. "This is the fag end of your magnificent capitalism, it was the unwritten rule, jobs for life became jobs for five years and then brick it all up, leave a heap of shite."

Buenos dias, mi amigo, who feels good today then?" replied Bill still savouring his last tapa from La Trebede, the last bar of the evening but comfortably the best. They had strolled out of the Posada Regia Leon and catching sight of a bar called inger' they had navigated successfully down the street, weaving from Bar Madrid, to Mona Lisa and many more before finishing in the early hours at La Trebede.

"We had to be a more flexible workforce responding to the whims of fashion. Retraining and reinventing ourselves. That's why you get ghettoes like this. The jobs arrive and five years later the grants are gone and the company fucks off leaving unemployment and a bunch of skills nobody needs" ranted Jim as he crushed every piece of concrete under his boot, and any insects foolish enough to wander through his camino.

"My favourite tapa of the evening was probably the big slice of tostada with morcilla in Mona Lisa but to be fair, the paella in Bar Madrid wasnae too shabby either." Bill continued. "But the amibence and the variety of tapa at La Trebede, was second to none.

"In the 50's, the automobile industry did this with the car putting wings or fins, bumpers and shiny bits but the 80's version did it with people. They started bending people into shapes. Its a fucking disgrace and, ah, ya bastard. These fucking pavements with their big cracks and stupid lips that you trip on." exclaimed Jim as he continued crashing his boots into all comers while wildly waving his walking poles as they searched for a solid surface. "Sustainability was a catchword for complacency. A lack of ambition. Ambition to create something that would last was replaced in the dictionary by something that could be quaffed. Simply consume it, dont construct it. Chocolate fucking fire guards. The UK led the way, while the northern Europeans were maximising the benefits from sexual equality the real enemy of women in the UK board room was that they didn't have balls. No cock meant no lap dancing. The business was concluded in clubs. No longer private gentlemens clubs at lunch or over bridge the 80s was about cutting deals to get the max out before moving on to a competitor. Max out - move on. Momo. Leaving the SAD people stay and develop to wither in poverty on the vine"

"Hold on, I'm just getting this photo. Do you see that statue of St Jacques? How cool is that? And I do like the hobbit houses, these bodegas cut in the hill side. I could well imagine myself staying in one for a long evening, emerging at sun up to continue the camino or if it was chucking it down like today, going back in for more!" said Bill happily smiling at his friend's furnace.

"I said, leaving the SAD people, those who would stay and develop to wither impoverished on the abused vine. By 2000 Rome was burning. Consumer driven momos were populating every board room with the same mantra. What will sell. Not what is a profitable and sustainable model."

"Ah, but not all vines have been abused. Have you tried the wines of Leon? Last night that's what we had with the Morcilla. A bit harsher but it works depending on the tapa. To be fair I ask the barman to choose the wine and tapa, it was easier and they always knew what worked well. The albarinho with the seafood paella was superb."

"The business schools taught their business but the world had moved on. Now look at us. The biggest industry is entertainment. Its mobile apps and games. Its sport stars and franchises. It talking your national sport and putting it in another continent to bleed them dry. Its about sport for stars and obesity for amateurs. We fund excellence not participation. Look at the Swedes, look what Petra was saying last night and Marguerite. They might not have top class sports stars but they do have the best child participation levels." Jim spat every word as if his words could counter the cascading rain as it accelerated down from the sky above.

"For once, mi amigo, you have stumbled into a rant I like. I do agree with Petra. I agreed with everything she said last night, up until she kissed me good night and said 'sleep well'. She gave me a massive hug and I thought she was staying to the end. They really are slagged for being boring but all that stuff last night made perfect sense, especially the bus to Astorga! Do you think we could maybe change attack and get on a villamdangos. They said buses were every hour and let's face it, we've now walked 5km, that's usually our lot"

They had passed the bodegas and were back alongside motorway and wet spray. Jim's hangover had started to subside. He was looking around and drinking from his bottle. He saw his friend's smile. His pack felt lighter, his mind was nearly empty, but there was once last thing he remembered from Marguerite & Petra. "They are on the 11:30 to hospital de orbigo, what time is it?"

"Mi amigo it is 11:05 according to that big clock there. The one that flashes 13 degrees and cold and is next to the bus stop. What say we wander over and check it is our bus stop"

They stood next to the bus stop and could decipher nothing. The cafe was a few yards away and Bill blazed the trail. He threw his pack off and asked, "Dos vinos tintos por favor. Autobus to Astorga aqui?

"No" replied the bar tender as he pointed another 50 metres up the street, where a small number of people were gathered in ill fitting ponchos and back packs. "Cinquante metros"

"gracias" said Bill as he necked the two wines and handed over the two euros.

"You really are ambidextrous" said Jim as he felt some light invading his long dark drink damaged tunnel

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Logrono to Leon

As Pilgrims diaries go this one is lacking in the spiritual stuff. By the time I can write, I'm usually sober again and my spirit has taken flight as my liver receives respite and I am suitably saturated in sobriety. However, my friends, I am on the doorstep of discovery. I have dreeped doon the walls of wonderment and welcomed the white floor show of the virgin snows. Yes its good. The mind is a cavernous mine which every camino see me cut a new hue.

This is special now. This is three parts further a dimension than I've had before.

The camino saps your strength and when your resistance is low, your heart starts to go. 
This is the moment that you work out whether you jump a bus or buy a ticket to Atapuerca man show.

I hide my luck under the ticket that gave me the free pass to the camino frances ~i ~i l never tire of it. The people are different every year, SOME OF THE BEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD YOU WILL EVER BE LUCKY ENOUGH TO MEET.

You try to keep the stories light, but it is special and that's why I keep doing it...

So back to the real camino, today was a great example. I lost weight once on the camino and I point at my expanding belly as proof that 'that camino belly' will shrink, or is already moving in that direction. It is clear it is not. I have already ditched the 36" short and bought a pair that are 42". I know its only temporary as once I climb O'Cebriero I will miraculously shrink to fit my cycling shorts.  In the event that I fail, I have kept a photograph of them and can therefore discard them so that a wee skinny fuckweight who clearly has a higher metabolic rate than myself can wear them on the serious climb via vega valcarce....but that wouldnt worry me. There would be too little time. The climb from VALCARCE is so swift you havent time to breath never mind harbour ill will. That bastard who is now wearing my shorts? Yeah good luck. Wish I had left the elastic loose, then I could pull on the thread and get dragged up this hill. 

This is the highest hil of the camino. Luckily you are all fit now. If you are not fit now, you will be at the top. Most hills on the camino are rise and fall. This is the only one that rises 1/6 for 5 hours!

Buen Camino

Not so Fat so

Fat Al

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Fairy steps

it seems a long time ago i left Burgos and go t caught in the rain just short of Hornillos. After that I had a great trip over to Itero de la vega, reqading myself with the Albergue Hogar, a contender for best on the camino. Then I took the long step to Carrion de los Condes via the river route which meant I got a wee rest in villavolio where there is a fountain a play park and goals for me to kick my ball. At Carrion I stayed in the monasterio just at the end of town. Superb choice.Yestterday was a decenet shift to templairios and i got proper reeking. Woke up this morning and everyone had left town....just me and the barman left. Easy day was not so easy as rain came again. Stopped at Sahagun monasterio on route out. Superb single room for 25 euro. no drinking....well not much!

Thomas Tobias Carruthers was in my head all day. His life story going round in my head. Tommy Turns Cars....I just love it

Thomas Tobias Carruthers was a fine man and is fondly remembered today because he turned cars. A simple and noble profession but one that all of you present were aware of and Tommy never shed from letting you know his qualifications and the reason for his early enforced retirement.

Getting in and out of cars is a young mans game and when Tommy's girth became an issue there were luckily for him, his daughters. They are all sat here today missing a dad a mentor and a fantastic human being.

The first son of Rozita and Tobias Carruthers, he was named after his Gradnfather from Cork. A giant of a man and one that Tommy certainly grew into. 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

fatal-bannas.blogspot is the place to be just now

I heard it ringing out all over Santo Domingo!! The has much information about the camino to Santiago. This is what fat boys do when the drugs dont work and they just keep you up at night.

I do W.E.D.S. Walk eat drink sleep. Not every wednesday but every day until I'm fecked. On this occassion i am in carrion de los condes. A town famous for the  monasterio del zurio. I walked here from itero de la vega, a great spot just after Castrojeriz. A town full of bevvy merchants and snorers, thats why i moved 10km down the trail.

Before that it was Hornillos, Burgos, Ahes, Villambistia, Santo Domingo, Azofra and Logrono.

It the tastiest pub crawl you'll ever be invited to.

right back to this 4euro bottle of Rioja

buen camino

Vincente Bee